In the heart of this yearâ€™s summer, now is the time to treat yourself to a rollicking good read, especially if you are about to jet off on your holiday.
There are few things as relaxing as losing yourself in great fiction, becoming part of the story and escaping reality for a few hours â€“ and this is even more so when you happen to be on a sun lounger next to a pool in a sunny location and sipping a tropical cocktail.
So donâ€™t forget to pack one of these top summer books in your suitcase alongside your bikini, sun cream and camera.
Skios, Michael Frayn
This brilliant farce revolves around a case of mistaken identity with hilarious consequences, and makes ideal summer holiday reading. Set on the Greek island of Skios, Dr Norman Wilfred is braced to give the Fred Toppler Foundationâ€™s yearly lecture on the subject of scientific organisation of science. The only trouble is that the Dr Norman Wilfred who arrives isnâ€™t the right Dr Norman Wilfred, and the real scientist is stuck on the other side of the island…
The Red House, Mark Haddon
The author of the chart-topping The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time strikes again, this time with a novel about a family. The plot focuses on what happens when a brother invites his estranged sister to the Welsh border on a week-long vacation.
Fifty Shades Of Grey, EL James
Whether youâ€™ve been busily trying to ignore this book or longing for an excuse to see what all the hype is about, thereâ€™s no denying that this is a super-popular piece of fiction this summer. In fact, this has become the fastest-selling paperback ever. And the best thing about taking this away with you is you donâ€™t need to worry about any judgemental stares.
The Dinner, Herman Koch
This dark and exciting novel has you hooked from page one, as you watch the niceties of two families unravel and discover just how far people are prepared to go to protect loved ones. Based around two couples who meet for dinner one summerâ€™s evening in Amsterdam, all seems well until itâ€™s revealed that the couples are linked by a dreadful act that has been committed by each coupleâ€™s teenage son, an act which threatens to shatter both their worlds.
Umbrella, Will Self
Challenging and daring, this is not one for those seeking a bit of easy reading by the seaside on their holiday. But this novel is worthy of perseverance, something that is attested by the fact itâ€™s been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Set at the end of World War II, Umbrella is about psychiatrist Zack Busner investigating a sleep sickness that swept across Europe and became known as Encephalitis Lethargica.
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson
Allan Karlsson is turning 100, but instead of making an appearance at his arranged party he never wanted, he decides to disappear from his old peopleâ€™s home through his bedroom window and make his getaway. We then follow him on his unlikely journey with its surprising events as well as learn about his earlier life. This novel is great fun, completely random and upbeat, and demands to be squeezed into your suitcase this summer.
Vision Boutique sells a great range of holiday reading glasses online